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Tue, Dec

Manzanilla Secondary's football team
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A student-athlete who thought he went through the proper procedure to transfer from St Anthony’s College to Manzanilla Secondary School is now being told otherwise.

The student, who lives in the east, said he wanted to transfer to Manzanilla Secondary for Upper Six to reduce the hours of travelling and help boost the school’s football programme.

The student’s father said his son applied online and was allegedly told by a school official that he was accepted. After attending the school for four days last week, the student was removed from class and told he would not be allowed on the compound until his situation was rectified.

To further complicate things, the student also played a game for the school in the east zone of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL). A meeting is expected to be held on Thursday to discuss the matter.

But the school official identified by the boy's parent is denying giving verbal approval about the transfer.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official said: “I did not talk to the boy about the issue at all.

“We don’t have any information from the boy that came into the school. From my knowledge, he did not apply.”

Asked how the boy was assigned to a classroom and attended school for four days, the official said: "That is the embarrassing and foolish thing about the situation."

The boy's father said his son played an SSFL match for the school against Valencia Secondary at the Sangre Grande Recreation Ground. He claimed that a day before the match, the school official said the transfer was successful.

The father said school books, uniforms and school supplies have already been bought for the new term.

He said his son's education is being affected by others involved in the matter.

“The whole thing is about ego. The coaches have ego and teachers not talking to teachers, and everybody doing their own thing, and everybody want to look good.

“I told the teacher yesterday (Tuesday) we might sweep this under the carpet today, but the next administration that comes after will go through the same thing.”

He claimed a Ministry of Education official had contacted him to let him know that the ministry had not approved the transfer request. He claimed the ministry official said a “small error” by the school caused some confusion.

The parent said a Manzanilla Secondary official decided to do their “own thing” and did not let the Ministry of Education official resolve the error.

“It is something within the school and certain people have their personal rift…Why you all putting the children through this.”

The parent is concerned that the school may be banned from the SSFL.

“We dealing with a whole team,” he said.

The father said his son’s chances of pursuing football abroad will also be affected.

“When you do that (you are denying someone a chance). He and the others who may be more inclined could get a scholarship. You don’t know how it could work out in their favour. It is an opportunity you taking away from them.”

Students transferring to schools to play football and cricket has been normalised over the years. As part of coaching, scouting for players to strengthen a team is now part of the job. However, there have been several instances where the proper procedures were not followed, resulting in a loss of points and other penalties.


SOURCE: T&T Newsday